In another positive step towards closing the loop and achieving a circular economy, a range of recycled plastic signs, fence posts, chicanes and bollards have been installed along the Twelve Apostles Trail to keep walkers and cyclists on the track.
Corangamite Shire Council Director Works and Services Brooke Love said products used in the project are made of soft plastic materials collected and recycled through the REDcycle Program.
“The aim is to keep the project as sustainable as possible,” Mrs Love said.
“Previously we have used virgin timber and treated timber for infrastructure projects. This project is more environmentally friendly and contributes to a circular economy, where the focus is to reduce consumption of finite materials, reuse and recycle. The approach benefits businesses, society, and the environment.”
The Twelve Apostles Trail – ‘Closing the Loop’ project is a step in the transition to sustainable infrastructure initiatives.
Council received funding from Sustainability Victoria’s Sustainable Infrastructure Fund to buy and install the recycled plastic products on the trail.
The fund, delivered by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government, aims to:
improve confidence in using products made from recycled materials;
demonstrate performance of existing products and standards;
increase the quantity of recycled products being sold in Victoria; and
support organisations to try new technology and processes.
Corangamite Shire is one of 18 councils sharing in more than $2.6 million through the Sustainable Infrastructure Fund to use recycled materials in infrastructure projects.
In great news for our local recycling industry, family-owned Geelong business GT Recycling has just been awarded a $3 million state and federal grant to be put towards their $4.7 million expansion. This will see the company able to process a massive extra 8,000 tonnes of plastic per year.
The grant is part of the federal Recycling Modernisation Fund and the Victorian Government’s Recycling Victoria program. While contributing to the mission of achieving a circular economy, it will have a number positive effects including more jobs for the region and a better outcome for the environment.
Victorian environment minister Lily D’Ambrosio said the grant would help GT to “install world-leading technology to recover a range of plastics from discarded agricultural plastic including plant pots, shade cloths, and tarps.”
Another positive step towards achieving a circular economy, the grant will mean that more plastic and other recycled materials will be brought back to life and see another day by being made into new recycled products.
How one of Victoria’s largest municipalities is using recycled materials to reduce waste
The City of Greater Geelong has increased its use of recycled materials through a number of creative projects and trials, seeking to find new ways of using waste as a resource.
The organisations 2019-20 Annual Report highlighted that 8,745 tonnes of recycled asphalt materials were utilised in the building and renewal of roads, footpaths and furniture, with nearly 6,548 tonnes of concrete recycled within the same period.
A particular highlight was the saving of 3,500 kilograms worth of plastic from landfill through a trial of PlastiPhalt® , a new form of micro-plastic free asphalt made from recycled plastics. PlastiPhalt® was used on various major traffic corridors throughout the Greater Geelong region, including Roslyn Road in Highton, Moorabool Street in the CBD as well as Purnell Road in Corio.
Green concrete, a form of concrete that comprises various waste materials, was also used in construction projects in both Drysdale and Corio, with a recycled rubber athletics track also constructed in North Geelong alongside seawall concrete blocks at both Western Beach Park and Eastern Beach reserve.
COGG is continuously assessing opportunities to utilise recycled materials in major construction projects, such as implementing recycled plastic bollards and benches. In May 2020, a tender was awarded to five business to provide asphalt using innovative recycling methods. The successful applicants are currently researching innovative asphalt solutions, such as foam bitumen containing recycled road and asphalt, and GripPhalt, a product which uses up to 90% recycled and renewable material. One company is also trialling glass in base layers of pavement throughout Greater Geelong.